By: Moniza Khokhar
Fabiola Arias is a designer that fuses her artistic background with her love for fashion. Textures and treatments are seen throughout her collections and has become her trademark. Available at stores in Neiman Marcus, Arias is excited to keep developing her brand. We got a chance to speak to her.
Elan: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in fashion?
FA: Growing up in an artistic home, I watched my mother, Anilu Oms, create her costume design illustrations, feeling inspired to do my own. Through my mother, I discovered fashion. Her beautiful headpieces are now a part of my collections. My father was a big influence in my life as well. In Cuba, he taught cinematography and his love of Hollywood’s golden era of the 1950s has influenced the classic silhouettes in my designs. From an early age, I knew I wanted to create art. I studied at Miami’s Design & Architecture Sr. High School (DASH) where painting, drawing, and sculpting became my loves and I discovered my passion to create with my hands. I use these mediums as a designer, because I believe in creating beautiful clothing in the same way as creating art.
Elan: You have a strong Cuban background, does that influence your designs?
FA: Subconsciously, coming from a Latin background has influenced my designs. I think coming from a colorful and tropical background definitely influenced my aesthetic in romantic and feminine silhouettes paired with strong, vibrant colors.
FA: My inspiration comes from nature specifically leaves, flowers or winged creatures. But it’s my background in painting and sculpture is what inspired the textures that I use. My interest in design is creating my own textures and surface treatments to create a rich painterly effect. I feel like my dresses are a work of art and it’s my fabric and thread that are like my paintbrush and canvas.
Elan: Where can someone find your line?
FA: At Neiman Marcus Couture Salon in Bal Harbor, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, King of Prussia, Boston, and Chicago.
Elan: What’s been your greatest challenge?
FA: There are many challenges especially because I have a small business that is growing. Being able to fund each season is increasingly difficult when I don’t have an investor. Without funding you can’t move forward and it’s easy to feel stuck.
Elan: Where do you see your line in 10 years?
FA: As an international brand with my own stores around the world.
Elan: What’s one piece of advice you would give to fashion designers wanting to enter into the market?
FA: Be hungry. Nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen. Talent can only get you so far. Be driven. Have great energy and excitement about your work, and talk about it with everyone you meet because you never know who you’ll meet and how they can help you. Work or intern for a small company at first for a while. This is the greatest way to understand the inner workings of a fashion company, and it is a more fulfilling experience. Patient persistence will get you ahead.
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